Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Putting the Learning in Service Learning: From Soup Kitchen Models of Service Learning to the Black Metropolis Model

Prof Theodoric Manley Jr., Avery Buffa.

Results of the Black Metropolis Model of service learning are analyzed and illustrated in this paper to explain how to “put the learning in service learning.” There are many soup kitchens or non-transforming models of service learning where high school, university and college students are asked to serve needy populations but internalize and learn little about the service in their service learning. The results of a successful transforming model of service learning, research, student and community empowerment is presented to demonstrate how to put the learning in service learning for all students. The model integrates community institutions, residents, university faculty, staff, and undergraduate and high school students in hands-on service learning experiences that document changes in public and private housing, commercial development, and culture and class lifestyle conditions in the Black Metropolis of Chicago since the last half of the twentieth century. As the neighborhood experiences rapid gentrification, a reciprocal and collaborative model of service learning offers students and community people unlimited participation in photo documentary and demographic analysis, community survey analysis, oral histories of public housing residents, and an ongoing analysis of the changes occurring along the major commercial strips in the community. The Black Metropolis model of service learning empowers high school and college students, community residents, institutions, and organizations with information and knowledge relevant to understanding the uneven development occurring in the community. The results reveal that the information and knowledge acquired by students in the Black Metropolis Model transforms student knowledge as they internalize how uneven development in housing impacts community residents and their future in the original Black Metropolis of Chicago since the last-half of the twentieth century.


Prof Theodoric Manley Jr.  (United States)
Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
DePaul University

Professor Manley received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago in 1986. He is currently the director of the Black Metropolis Project, a study of Black life in the original settlement area of Blacks in Chicago since the last-half of the twentieth century.

Avery Buffa  (United States)

Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning and Community Service Studies
DePaul University

  • Service learning
  • Black metropolis
  • Curriculum
  • Student internalization

(Virtual Presentation, English)